President Pranab Mukherjee Congratulates 17 Ashoka Fellows

The new cohort of social innovators shared their experiences during their meeting in Rashtrapati Bhavan

12th February 2016, New Delhi: On the occasion of the selection of 17 new Ashoka Fellows, the President met the delegation led by Ashoka Fellow and Magsaysay Award Winner 2015 Anshu Gupta in the capital. The new Fellows have been selected owing to their extraordinary work dedicated towards social entrepreneurship and innovation across the country. Ashoka- Innovators for the Public, in its endeavour to support and accelerate the impact of social entrepreneurs, have selected the cohort for their work in various fields such as education, health, economic development, urban development, civic engagement, waste management, housing and media among others. 

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, The President of India, encouraged the Fellows and said, “I am happy to meet this young, enterprising group of Ashoka Fellows for the year 2015. It is a matter of pride that this organisation has over the last 35 years of its establishment, mentored and supported over 3000 Ashoka Fellows in 82 countries, including over 380 Fellows elected from India. The drives that influence the pursuit of innovation are many- from basic survival to propulsion of growth. A healthy eco-system is needed to harness innovative potential of various segments in different sectors and at multiple levels on our society.”

Ashoka, has worked with entrepreneurial talent solving social problems with news ideas and innovation. The Ashoka Fellowship programme aims to offer critical personal financial and peer support to accelerate the impact of its Fellows.  It creates spaces for its Fellows to grow as as effective leaders in a fast changing world and access knowledge, networks and visibility to make their ideas a reality across society. 

Mr Shashikumar Velath, Leadership Group Member, South Asia, Ashoka- Innovators for the Public, said, “The 17 new Ashoka Fellows offer valuable insights and solutions to tackling urgent issues at a systemic level. We believe their solutions in the field of housing, health, education, civic participation, governance and youth engagement not only have the potential for large scale impact but also inspire a new generation of local changemakers to create positive social change. We as Ashoka are excited to have them join the network and are committed to offering strategic support to accelerate their impact.”

India is home to Ashoka's first Fellow, elected in 1980 and since then, India has served as a testing ground for most of Ashoka's international Fellowship building programs and other key initiatives. Today, there are over 380 Fellows working throughout India making significant contributions to a wide range of field, from appropriate technology to gender equity, from health care delivery systems to income generation.

About Ashoka

Ashoka is the largest association of social entrepreneurs in the world — men and women with system changing solutions for the world’s most urgent social problems. Ashoka pioneered the field of social entrepreneurship and generated opportunities for social entrepreneurs around the world to connect, collaborate, and provide value to one another, multiplying the capacity of each social entrepreneur to improve more lives and to change the world. Since its founding over 30 years ago, Ashoka has provided living stipends, professional support services, and connections to a global network of almost 3,000 leading social entrepreneurs in more than 70 countries.